Emil Protalinski writes:
Microsoft and Facebook are in talks to further strengthen their search partnership, possibly resulting in Bing gaining access to anonymized data generated by Facebook users to better personalize its search results, according to anonymous sources cited by All Things Digital. Microsoft would be able to use the information from Facebook’s Like buttons, which the social giant has managed to have plastered all over the Web.
When a user likes a webpage, their Facebook friends are notified; if this deal goes through, Microsoft would also be able to know which webpages users are appreciating, and would be able to work that into Bing’s algorithms (it could be particularly useful for Bing News), instead of just relying on spiders scouring the Internet. With Facebook’s 500 million users, such a deal could give it quite a boost over Google, which presumably would be excluded from the data. The sources did point out an important hurdle though: because of Facebook’s many privacy issues, the possible expansion of the search relationship would only be able to encompass information which users have already agreed to make public.
Read more on Ars Technica.